CC_banner_A 3_edited.jpg

Consumer Solutions

So what’s the solution? There's not one easy answer when it comes to finding humane ways to consume, but there are many ways to ignite personal and cultural change.

Whare can you have the highest impact?

High-impact industries in which ​​the current consumer norm has a negative impact on the planet, people, and other animals. When these are industries that many of us use frequently—and perhaps must use to some degree—building consumer habits that do the most good (MOGO) can lead to considerably less harm.

Food

Many of us consume food daily, and our normative practice around animal agriculture and unconscious food waste are huge contributors of emissions, heavy land and water usage, rainforest and habitat depletion, and animal suffering. Consider starting your conscious consumer journey with food.

Fashion

We require clothes, but we don't need to consume it at the rate or to the extent our culture makes us demand. The fast fashion industry contributes to resource depletion, textile waste, demand for cheap and forced labor, and—depending on the material—animal suffering.  Consuming clothing more consciously can be a rewarding, creative process.

How to bring change

Packaging

Our acceptance and frequent use of single-use items, unrecyclable plastics, styrofoam, and wrapping creates massive amounts of waste, toxins, and marine-life death. It's so meaningful to be conscious of packaging with how present it is in our daily lives with food, deliveries, and other goods.

e-Products

Few of us are without electronics today, and many of us require them for school, work, and communication needs. With that, electronics have made a large impact on resource depletion, e-waste, and demand for unfair and volatile mineral mining practices in their relatively short existence. Influence the future of electronics consumption.

What leverage points are available to you?

Consider the leverage points available to you in your life and your community. Sometimes, changing personal personal habits feels like a small solution to big problems, but these habits influence demand, inspire others, and allow us to act in accordance with our values. There are also meaningful leverage points beyond our personal purchasing habits, like using your voice to question unconscious company and policy practices.

Swap one consumer good for another

When you learn that you are consuming a product that causes unnecessary harm, look to see if MOGO alternatives exist. For many products, you can switch to used and antique alternatives, which extend the life cycle of items already made rather than creating demand for new items. When you can’t find a used swap, compare the companies that are available to you. You can use the help of resources like the Better World Shopper public research project, which has a directory for searching a company's "rating" for human rights, environmental ethics, and animal protection as well as for their community involvement and social justice efforts.

Stop buying a consumer good entirely

Consuming fewer goods entirely and lowering quantity demand lowers raw materials, pollution, and waste. As you examine what you buy and why more consciously, you may find that the need you are seeking to fulfill with a product can be met through other means. For example, you may find that you’ve been consuming xyz because you desire xyz, which you can get from xyz. Unburdening ourselves of products can be freeing, as many people who have adopted more minimalistic lifestyles report.

Share what you've learned with others
Urge companies to be more MOGO

If you stop consuming products from a particular company because you learn it is causing unnecessary harm, the absence of your dollar vote tells them that in a way. Take it further by using your VOICE to tell them, by writing them an email or a public review asking them to change the practice that is harmful to the planet, people, or animals.

Influence more conscious policy
  • Vote for bills, lobby legislators

  • Examples of bills that have passed in last 10 years

Sometimes, personal change is impractical due to availability or price...

Keep conscious of these things...

Red flags, greenwashing, and labels

Some ingredients are just generally harmful by way of extraction practices, chemical usage, or animal dependency. If consumers are knowledgeable about ingredients that cause harm and choose products that do not use these ingredients when alternatives are available, we can decrease demand for these ingredients.

Ingredients to avoid

 

As more conscious consumers cast their dollar votes for environmentally-friendly products, more companies are making efforts to produce environmentally-friendly products. This is GREAT. Some companies, however, are over-selling their environmental efforts or are using “green marketing” without any pro-environment changes or results. There is a lot of deceptive marketing around product end-of-life, particularly with what can be recycled:

Real recycling guide

 

Be aware of companies trying to appeal to you with green or natural-colored packaging, nature images, and words like “green,” “eco-friendly,” and “toxin-free.” Companies can use these appeals in marketing without actually selling a product that is mitigating environmental harm. Look for products that have a certification or seal or provide exact details on their ecological actions and impacts on their website or packaging.

Credible environmental seals

 

In addition to environmental seals, there are seals that address a product's impact on animals and humans. It's worth noting that we can get a false sense of security if we don’t truly understand what a label means about a product. Sometimes, we get a sense that products are something that they are not—particularly when it comes to a product's impact on the animals that went into it.

Human and animal impact seals